Recent Commercial Posts
Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
Flooding photo courtesy of the National Weather Service.
Did you know all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods in the last five years? That’s according to floodsmart.gov. The National Weather Service (NWS) says flooding is one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.
Flooding can happen anywhere, even if you don’t live in a flood zone, or on a body of water, a flood can hit your home or business and cause serious damage.
According to the NWS, about 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) says floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses nationwide each year, with commercial flood claims averaging more than $75,000.
Long story short: floods happen a lot, causing a lot of damage, costing a lot of money.
And like we said earlier, you can experience flooding even if you’re in a “low-risk” area. That’s because there are many different flood hazards that exist. The NWS lists the following hazards:
- Flash Flooding
- River Flooding
- Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
- Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
- Ice/Debris Jams
- Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
- Dam Breaks/Levee Failure
Obviously, we don’t face all those hazards here in the Green Bay area. We do face some of them though, and spring is a notoriously bad time for flooding around here.
So, Team SERVPRO of West Brown County advises homeowners out there to be aware that flooding is possible and take steps to prevent it.
We advise the same for business owners. Our team is also able to go a step further for businesses by performing an Emergency READY Profile, or ERP, to ensure your commercial property is “Ready for whatever happens,” including flooding.
Call us any time with questions about flooding, water loss restoration and ERP’s at 920-434-8224.
SERVPRO and that 'New' Car Smell
According to AAA, the average American driver spends 17,600 minutes in their car per year. Breaking down the math, that is a little more than 290 hours, equaling about 12 days total. 12 days out of every year! That’s more days than the average American worker gets for paid vacation each year.
That being said, you probably want to be as comfortable as possible in your car. From the seats to the steering wheel, the sound system to the…smell?! Well, sure, why do you think they make car air fresheners?
Of course, the “new car smell” is very famous and popular, but what about the drivers out there who have pre-owned vehicles? It’s tough to control the scent in those cars…but team SERVPRO of West Brown County can!
We can provide very in-depth odor removal. If you’re a seller or a buyer dealing with issues like cigarette smoke, spilled food and drinks, or pet smells in a pre-owned vehicle, that is something our technicians can take care of.
The techs do that by using our ozone technology to eradicate those odors instead of covering them up.
As a reminder, ozone is a gas that’s made up of three oxygen particles (differing from the O2 we breathe, which is two oxygen particles). The ozone changes the chemical makeup of smoke particles (or bacteria, or whatever else is causing a bad smell) through the oxidation process, causing the odor to disappear.
The team will use our ozone machine to get rid of any bad scents and also do a deep clean of the car. The ozone process can be drying to the materials in the vehicle, so our technicians will make sure to wipe down the inside with a protectant to ensure nothing is damaged during that process.
All of this work can help ensure your return to the driver’s seat is as pleasant as possible! If you’re going to spend 17,600 minutes in your car this year, we want to make sure each one of those minutes is enjoyable.
Calls us all any time of the day or night at 920-434-8224.
We're Here for Your Commercial Restoration Needs
Photo of a commercial restoration project we worked on in the Green Bay area.
At SERVPRO of West Brown County we know when disaster strikes it can strike anywhere. That means we need to be prepared to take on restoration and cleaning projects for homes AND businesses across the Green Bay area.
And we are. Team SERVPRO of West Brown County can take care of any commercial disaster recovery project large or small.
Because we’re a locally owned business, we understand that working time lost because of a disaster means money lost. Since we have that understanding, we strive to perform any commercial cleanup needs as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible. Our number one goal is to make sure to get your business back to work as soon as possible. That way you can take care of your clients and your bottom line.
As we said, our technicians are trained and ready to take on any kind of disaster clean up like flood damage, fire and smoke damage, mold, biohazard situations and even crime scenes like break ins or vandalism.
Our techs can also help with more general tasks like carpet cleaning.
Here’s a list with examples of just a few of the commercial properties our team is ready to tackle:
- Small Office Buildings
- Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
- Apartment Buildings
- Small Retail Stores
- Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
- High-Rise Residential
- Manufacturing & Industrial
Another service we provide to local businesses is an Emergency Readiness Profile, or ERP. The ERP is a document that you can refer to in a disaster situation to know things like the first responders you need to contact, the areas of the building that might be affected by a particular incident and the chain of command in an emergency. Our marketing team will complete ERPs for Green Bay area businesses completely free of charge. It only takes about an hour of a business owner’s time.
If you need our services to help your business recover after a disaster, or if you’re interested in setting up an ERP appointment, call us at 920-434-8224.
Protecting Your Property with Board Ups
This photo shows one of the board up projects our team performed in the Green Bay area.
Imagine a tornado has ripped through your town. The wind was strong enough to rip the roof off your home. The cleanup alone is overwhelming and now you also have to deal with your property, your belongings being exposed to the elements.
That’s where SERVPRO of West Brown County can be your hero. Our team of qualified technicians can come in and help calm that chaos.
The techs will first board up the opening left behind by the storm. They will use different materials like boards, plywood and/or tarps, depending on the size of the hole, the surrounding damage and the weather.
The techs will then clean up and remove any debris left behind.
But we know the board up is just the start of the recovery. We are able to provide reconstruction services as well, to rebuild your property. Our master carpenter can bring your home back to its original glory.
And this imaginary scenario is not the only one our team can help with. If you have a fire in your home that leaves a hole in the wall, we can help there. If your business experiences storm or fire damage that leaves it open to the elements, we can help there too. Basically, if ANY of your property is damaged and you need it protected right away, we are there for you.
A board up will ensure that there is no further damage to your property and it will help the cleanup and recovery process go much faster. That way life can get back to normal sooner, meaning less stress for you.
If you should need these services, at any time, we are here for you. Just give us a call at 920-434-8224.
Continuing Education Classes Coming Up
At SERVPRO of West Brown County, one thing we take great pride in is providing continuing education classes. These classes are aimed at our friends in the insurance business and help keep their licenses up to date!
This coming March 12th (of 2019), we will be holding two seminars at the Marq on French Road in De Pere.
The first seminar will deal with ethics and will run from 8:00am through 11:00am. Registration for this course will start at 7:15am. 100% completion of this course will result in three insurance credit hours.
The second seminar will deal with biohazard cleanup and will run from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Registration for this course will start at 11:15am. 100% completion of this course will result in two insurance credit hours.
The only cost to attend these seminars is a $5.00 state credit processing fee per attendee.
Continental breakfast will be provided by Sherwin Williams and lunch will be provided by Electronic Restoration Services.
To reserve your spot or ask any questions, reach out to Jim Knopf at 920-434-8224 or at jknopf@SERVPROgreenbay.com.
We hope to see you out there!
Preparedness Profile: Business Continuity Plan
A flooded office space.
September is National Preparedness Month all across the United States. In an effort to help you be more prepared, we’re putting together a different “Preparedness Profile” each week this month.
For the first week, we’re talking about how business owners can plan and be prepared in the event of a disaster. Just like a family needs to plan for things like fires and floods: how they will get out of the house if dangerous conditions occur, what items they will need in an emergency and what insurance they might need to cover any losses; a business needs to do the same.
The key to taking care of your investment and employees is to create a business continuity plan. The SERVPRO team cannot recommend this enough. Having a plan will ensure everyone’s safety and ensure that you can get back to work as soon as possible. This also helps ensure you will lose as little productivity as possible.
According to ready.gov, there are four main steps to creating a business continuity plan:
- Do a Business Impact Analysis
- Ask how a disaster would affect your business’s ability to function.
- Would there be a loss of production? How long? How will that loss affect the bottom line?
- What equipment (like computers or machinery) might be affected? How can you protect those ahead of time.
- Come up with Recovery Strategies
- What resources can you fall back on? Do you have another location to work from, for example?
- Who will you turn to for help in the recovery? Will you call on SERVPRO to clean up, for example?
- Can work be done remotely?
- Develop Your Plan
- Organize a recovery team among your employees.
- Make sure you have any necessary insurance to replace what could be lost.
- What resources will your business need during the recovery process, in the hours, days, weeks and months that follow a disaster?
- Create a relocation plan, if necessary.
- Test Your Plan
- Run emergency drills with your employees to ensure they know what to do in the event of unsafe conditions like fire or biohazard spills.
- Encourage your employees to consider how they would react and work after a disaster.
- Run through your plans. Will they work? If not, come up with a new plan.
At SERVPRO we ask that, as a business owner, you plan to stay in business, encourage your employees to be ready and protect your investment. Planning ahead can help make all of this possible.
As a business leader, you are a community leader. You can set a good example for your community by having a disaster plan. If you do it, that will encourage others to do it too. And that will make everyone safer.
And SERVPRO of West Brown County can help you in all of this planning by doing an Emergency Readiness Profile (ERP) for your business, free of charge. The ERP is a document that you can refer to in a disaster situation to know things like the first responders you need to contact, the areas of the building that might be affected by a particular incident and the chain of command in an emergency.
Call us anytime to schedule an ERP at 920-434-8224 and make sure you are prepared for the worst.
Lobbying for Local Businesses: Talking with Jayme Sellen of the Chamber
For the business owners out there, it’s no surprise that local, state and federal governments have a huge impact on the work they do. It MAY be a surprise for some, however, to find out there is a lobbyist working with the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce to ensure lawmakers make decisions that impact local businesses in a POSITIVE way.
That lobbyist’s name is Jayme Sellen. Sellen is the vice president of governmental affairs and community relations for the Greater Green Bay Chamber. She has been a registered lobbyist in Wisconsin for 15 years. She has worked at the chamber for 5 years.
Sellen’s position comes with a lot of responsibilities. For one, she helps member businesses get through government red tape when obtaining things like permits.
Sellen works to get legislation passed that would benefit local businesses, including measures like tax reform, regulatory reform and workforce development.
Sellen is also responsible for helping member businesses understand the political process and for keeping those business owners up-to-date on decisions being made at the local, state and federal level.
Sellen says business people are often too busy with their own work to be able to pay close attention to what the government is up to at all times. So, it’s up to her to scrutinize what lawmakers are doing for them.
Sellen tells us, “Government can impact you more than anything…they impact every aspect of your business.” And that’s why she says her job is an important one. She also says that’s why it’s crucial for business owners to get involved in the political process when they can.
Some projects Sellen and the chamber are working on include getting a second bridge in De Pere to ease congestion and enhance safety; focusing on early training for students to get into the workforce as soon as possible and making K-12 funding more equal across the board.
If you have questions for Sellen, she encourages you to contact her at 920-593-3428 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Introduction to PPE: Personal Protective Equipment
A photo from SERVPRO corporate of technicians wearing PPE
When it comes to SERVPRO of West Brown County, our number one concern is safety: the safety of our clients and the safety of our employees.
To make sure the job is done right, employees need to take proper precautions when working in specific situations. Each job comes with its own safety concerns. For example, flood waters can come with contaminants from things like sewage; mold remediation jobs come with possible irritants to people’s eyes, skin and lungs; fire damage can come with worries like smoke inhalation and possible falling debris; and biohazard incidents can come with exposure to dangerous chemicals and bodily fluids.
SERVPRO teams are given the proper training and personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure they are prepared to safely handle each one of those incidents and a wide range of others. They follow specific guidelines laid out by our company and by the National Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Some of that PPE includes the following:
- Tyvek Suits and Booties: which are made of a strong, but lightweight material that can protect a person from contaminants in the air. These suits cover a person from head to toe (except the face).
- Dust Masks: which are lightweight masks worn around the nose and mouth to keep out less serious contaminants like typical, household dust.
- Full Face Masks: which are more heavy-duty, plastic masks, seal off the entire face and include respirators. These are used in more dangerous conditions. The respirators filter out any harmful airborne pathogens and mold spores.
- Gloves: different kinds of gloves are used depending on the situation. Nitrile gloves are used to protect from certain contaminants like bodily fluids. Whereas, stronger rubber gloves are used to protect when handling sharp or rough objects.
- Goggles: are used to protect the eyes in dangerous conditions.
- Hard Hats: are used to protect employees in situations where there is a risk of building collapse or falling debris.
By ensuring their own safety in the field, our team members are better able to ensure your safety and the safety of your home or business.
Remember, if you experience an incident that requires restoration work, you can count on SERVPRO of West Brown County to get the job done in the SAFEST and most efficient way. Call us any time at 920-434-8224.
Showing Compassion Every Day
At SERVPRO of West Brown County we deal with disasters every, single day. We come in and perform clean up after traumatic incidents like fires, floods and crimes.
It’s not an easy job. However, we understand, as difficult as it is for us to see the aftermath of these tragedies, it is far more difficult for the home and business owners who have to experience them.
These kinds of events throw a person’s world into chaos. It’s our team’s goal of coming in and calming that chaos. We want to help people through the anxiety that comes with these situations.
In that spirit, it is so important that each and every member of our team shows compassion and empathy. That means everyone from the techs who perform the cleanups, to the people who answer the phones, to the sales team out on the road.
Owner Mike Bogenschuetz says he makes it a point to talk with employees about compassion and empathy and how they can show it to people who are going through very difficult times. He says it is an extremely important part of the job.
Mike says clients often compliment our team on their ability to show compassion and understanding. Clients will often tell us the team helped them calm down and better understand the cleanup process.
You can see some of those compliments in the testimonials on our website and in the online reviews on our Google, Yelp and Facebook pages.
It is our ultimate goal to help you recover from a traumatic event as quickly and inexpensively as possible. We want you to be able to get back to normal life.
We hope that you never need us, but we’re here for you if you do. Just call 920-434-8224.
It's Easy Being Green
At SERVPRO of West Brown County we’re invested in being green and that goes for more than just our famous trucks.
Our interest in being environmentally friendly starts with the building we operate from. Our home base is an office and a large shop in the Village of Howard. On the roof you can see a few dozen solar panels.
Those panels produce the majority of the electricity we use here. The investment was a large one up front, but we’ve found it’s definitely worth it to produce clean electricity for our own use.
Outside our home base, we’re concerned with conservation as well.
When we work on a home or business that’s been damaged by an incident like a fire or flooding, we try hard to salvage as much of the items in that home or business as possible. We work on cleaning and restoring furniture, for example, instead of throwing it out. That way less trash ends up in the dump AND we’re able to save our clients money. If clients can keep their old belongings after an incident, they don’t have to spend money to buy new ones.
When we DO need to remove items that are beyond repair from a home or business, we make sure as little of those wind up in the dump as possible. That means we ensure whatever can be recycled is recycled and that all materials, be they metals or electronics, get to the right locations.
Being as environmentally friendly as possible is important to us. So is saving you money. Luckily there are a lot of times when those two goals go hand in hand and we take advantage of them when they do.
We’re all about being green and saving green at SERVPRO of West Brown County.
'Tis the Season for Spring Cleaning
As spring arrives, nature wakes up. The world turns green again, flowers bloom and the birds build their nests.
And as all this happens, we humans start to think of our nests as well: our homes and offices.
SERVPRO of West Brown County has what business and home owners need to get spring cleaning done right. Our team can freshen up your surroundings with HVAC cleaning, for starters. We are also trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to get your carpets their cleanest and focus on stain removal. We can even help you out with tasks like drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and deodorization.
If you need help getting rid of unwanted clutter, we can use our muscle to haul away any trash or unwanted items like furniture. Get that garage or basement cleaned out for the season!
For the homeowner, you may want to tackle some spring cleaning at your abode on your own.
And for you, we ask (as we often do) that you consider your safety when making plans for a big clean.
If you’re going to be using chemical cleaners inside your home Consumer Reports has some tips to play it safe:
- Open windows in your home to keep fresh air flowing.
- Read labels on the products you use to see if anything is potentially harmful.
- Make sure to NEVER mix ammonia and bleach.
- If you need to move furniture and other heavy objects, get someone to help you.
- Don’t do more than you physically can.
Of course, spring isn’t just a time to focus on our “nests,” it’s a time when a lot of us want to get out in our yards. Fall and winter can leave behind a bit of a mess and spring is a great time to make it beautiful once more.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has advice for getting the yard back in order safely:
- Dress appropriately for the work you’re doing. If you’re going to use power tools, avoid loose-fitting clothes.
- Walk around the yard or garden first to clear out debris like sticks, stones or even trash.
- Use any necessary safety equipment like goggles or gloves.
- Read all safety instructions and test power tools before using them.
- Never work with electric power tools in wet conditions.
- Handle gas cautiously, keep it away from spark or flame.
- Be sure any extension cords are in good condition.
Use your best judgment as you sweep the winter blues out of your home and yard while the world turns green again.
With cleaning your home or office, keep in mind, we can help with a lot of the heavy lifting. We have the tools and experience to get your surroundings looking and SMELLING their best. So, if there is anything we can do to help give us a call 920-434-8224.
Hoarding: A Dangerous Situation
A hoarding situation we helped clear to assist in eradicating a beg bug infestation.
From time to time SERVPRO of West Brown County helps-out in a hoarding situation.
Recently we assisted someone who had a bed bug infestation, along with a hoarding issue in the Green Bay area. In that case we helped remove items to aid in the eradication of the bed bugs.
In a typical hoarding situation, we are called in to help a person who is ready remove some of the extreme clutter that’s taken over their home and, possibly, even their life. We are also often called in to deal with water or fire and smoke damage that has affected an apartment or home that has a hoarding issue which compounds the cleanup.
So, what exactly is hoarding? According to the International OCD Foundation, hoarding disorder, or HD, is “a mental health disorder where people have difficulty getting rid of possessions that are no longer useful.” In these cases, a person can feel extreme, emotional distress at the thought of getting rid of those possessions.
With hoarding disorder, the clutter can become so thick that it prevents a person from getting around his or her living spaces easily.
Hoarding can create serious dangers. Experts say stacks of items can increase the risk of fire. Those stacks can also collapse on a person or cause structural damage. Also, in the event of an emergency, it can be difficult for rescue workers to get through the residence to provide help. Those experts say injuries can be severe and even fatal.
According to the International OCD Foundation, or IOCDF, 2-4% of the population has hoarding disorder. There are signs you can look for that your loved one may be suffering with it. Here is a list of some of those signs from the IOCDF
- Your loved one keeps parts of their home, or their entire home off-limits.
- You and your loved one talk a lot about “the stuff.”
- De-cluttering even a small area of the home is a major job that can take hours.
- Your loved one has trouble finding things.
- Your loved one puts off repairs to their home.
- Your loved one’s garage is over-flowing.
- Your loved one will not let you touch their possessions.
If you think someone you love might be struggling with hoarding disorder, it’s best to consult a mental healthcare professional to see how you can help.
If a decision is made to clear out some of the extreme clutter, SERVPRO of West Brown County can assist with that step. We will help you and your loved one sort through the items and help bring order back to the situation. You can always reach our team at 920-434-8224.
Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite
Photo of a bed bug from the CDC
Over the last week we handled cleanup at an apartment in the Green Bay area with a bed bug infestation.
We figured this would be a good time to tell you a little bit about the blood sucking critters and what you need to watch out for.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bed bugs, or Cimex lectularius, as they’re formally known, are small, wingless, reddish-brown insects. They feed on human and animal blood while the victims are sleeping.
The bite marks will often appear as slightly raised, reddish spots. They can sometimes appear in straight lines.
The CDC says the teeny-tiny vampires are mostly harmless to humans. If you have an allergic reaction it COULD call for medical care. The bites can certainly itch and may cause lack of sleep.
We’re hearing more and more about outbreaks of the bugs across the country and locally. Because they’re so small they’re able to hide and stow away in items like clothing, sheets and mattresses.
Some signs you’re facing an infestation are as follow:
- Bugs or their exoskeletons appearing in your sheets or mattresses
- Rusty brown stains on your sheets or mattresses
- A sweet, musty odor
A professional exterminator can treat a bed bug infestation.
SERVPRO teams don’t treat the bed bugs themselves, but we do help clean up during an outbreak. That means removing the infested mattresses, carpets, etc.
The recent incident we helped at was made worse by the fact that it was also somewhat of a hoarding scene. Stacks of furniture and other belongings provide good places for the bugs to hide.
Our teams need to take serious precautions in these cases like wearing full Tyvek suits and wrapping the items we remove to ensure no bugs get out during the moving process. We then drive the items straight to the dump and bug bomb our truck at the end of the day.
If the bed bugs bite, SERVPRO of West Brown County’s team can help with any cleanup efforts you might have. Just give us a call at 920-434-8224.
So you can sleep tight and…well, you know the rest!
Never Stop Learning
SERVPRO continuing education class in Green Bay on March 13th.
As the old saying goes, ‘You learn something new every day.’ Here at SERVPRO of West Brown County we want to help you learn those new things when we can.
To do that we periodically offer free continuing education classes to our community partners. The topics of these classes can run the gamut from biohazards, to hoarding, to ethics.
Our most recent class was held on March 13th at The Marq in Green Bay. More than 50 people attended including insurance agents, property managers and realtors.
You can see a photo of the turnout right in this post.
SERVPRO taught two classes: one on ethics and one on restoration after mold.
Our friends at CRDN, the Certified Restoration Dry Cleaning Network, also taught a class. We can’t forget that ERS provided breakfast and Sherwin Williams provided lunch to all those who attended (a day of learning certainly works up an appetite!).
These classes are particularly important to those insurance agents. They need several continuing education credits each year to keep their licenses. That way clients can be sure they’re in good hands.
Property managers and realtors aren’t required to get these kinds of credits, but many want to take part anyway. They can learn more about providing tenants and clients clean and comfortable places to live.
So why do we at SERVPRO offer this education? We do this because we care about the community and we care about our partnerships here. We want to be sure we’re here for our partners AND our future customers.
We know any time you need us will be difficult. These classes help ensure you’re taken care of should that time ever come.
To learn more about what we have to offer at SERVPRO of West Brown County, give us a call at 920-434-8224.
SERVPRO Handles Large Commercial Building Flood in Green Bay
The SERVPRO large loss equipment was brought in to quickly clean up this flooded warehouse.
A water main break under the floor of a 200,000 square foot warehouse in Green Bay caused a heck of a mess as tons of sand and silt flowed with the gushing water and ended up throughout much of the building and accumulated as high as 6". SERVPRO of West Brown County came in and started removing the dirt with a skidsteer and began extracting the muddy water with our extraction equipment. We brought in reinforcements from our SERVPRO network that included labor, a whole building desiccant dryer and generator, as well as additional equipment so that the loss was cleaned up as quickly as possible. This enabled the warehouse to keep working without much lost time. Through our network, we can handle all job sizes, from residential to huge commercial losses. You can count on us at SERVPRO to keep your operations going and get your home or business back on track "Like it never even happened".
Restoring Your Green Bay Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges
Flooding and water damage events at Green Bay commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of West Brown County
SERVPRO of West Brown County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Meet our trained and professional employees http://www.SERVPROwestbrowncounty.com/employee-photos
See our training certifications http://www.SERVPROwestbrowncounty.com/restoration-training-certifications